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Our Expectations Deceive Us
My World on May 13, 2005

Abstract from photo of dinosaur in NY Times, May 13, 2005, p. B29.

What You See and What You Expect:
It's a Dinosaur.

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 7, 2005
Latest Update: May 8, 2005

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Our Expectations Deceive Us: My World on May 13, 2005

I'm sorry. I couldn't resist playing with the dinosaur. It represents so much to me. A fantasy past with giant monsters and scary creatures. The fear of much of life ending on the earth, as when the asteroid or comet andor volcanic eruptions wiped out most living creatures. A glimpse into a past for which we are gathering ever more evidence to understand what life on earth was like, so that we might learn to preserve that life.

But where I really started out was on the front page this morning,

Painting by Robert Roberg in show at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City
Museum of Biblical Art: Lynn Lown
Robert Roberg's "The Whore of Babylon Riding on a Beast with Seven Heads" (circa 1991)
A review of the first show of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City, which looks at how evangelical Christianity has influenced self-taught artists and includes the work of Robert Roberg, above.

Thre is a show in outsider art at the Museum of Biblical Art. Outsider art is art by those who have not undergone formal art training. They often work with non-traditional media and techniques, and show considerable ingenuity sense they have not been taught the dominant discourse that goes with art training. Robert Roberg's painting above is a good example. Both lion and people and symbols on the horizon have a non-traditional look. But the feeling is clear. Energy, ferociousness, in the lion, an attitude on the part of the woman, whose drink is dripping red spots upon her throat, and what could be a holy man with a tube controlling? a version of the Loch Ness monster in bright magenta. I'm not sure which story he's telling, but the image is full of plausible versions for many stories. Check out Robert Roberg's site. He's got a famous Goya, with his thoughts appearing across it. Some of his thoughts reflect social issues and justice as we have spoken of them.

When I went to backup the article for you, in which I missed any mention of Robert Roberg's picture, I viewed the slide show of Bible-inspired art, and discovered Roberg's title for the painting. No fair, I let you see it before you tried to come up with the story. But notice I told you that woman had an attitude. I guess so, if she was the Whore of Babylon. And i didn't even notice that the lion, leopard, whatever had seven heads. Good example of how you sometimes need to look closely and think critically before you decide you "know" what the message is. Take the time to view the slide show linked right under the Robert Roberg picture. I'm pretty sure the Times will keep it up for a while. Good way to unwind when you've been studying hard. love and peace, jeanne

love and peace, jeanne

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